Met Office predicts wetter than average dry season

File photo of ladies sharing an umbrella as they shelter the rain on Frederick Street, Port of Spain.  - Ayanna Kinsale
File photo of ladies sharing an umbrella as they shelter the rain on Frederick Street, Port of Spain. - Ayanna Kinsale

As the 2020 rainy season is due to end in six days, the Meteorological Office is predicting wetter than usual conditions during the upcoming dry season from January 1 to May 2021.

Climatologist Kenneth Kerr predicts that the first half of the dry season, from January to March, will have more rain when compared to previous dry seasons. He said there is a 60 per cent probability that the 2021 dry season will most likely produce above-normal rainfall from January to May.

Speaking via Zoom at the National Climate Outlook Forum on Tuesday morning, Kerr said there should be an increase of dust-haze by the end of February.

April is expected to be the driest month in 2021 and the Met Office said people should conserve water to prepare for this time.

It’s also predicted that temperatures are more likely to fall as low as 19 degrees in January and February, but there will be more warmer than average day and night temperatures, of up to 34 degrees in April and May. Kerr said the high temperatures could produce a few short-duration hot spells.

Usually, March is the driest month and there are up to 90 dry days out of the 153 days that make up the dry season.

Earlier this year, Kerr said, the Met Office predicted up to 412mm of rainfall – 434mm in Trinidad and 344mm in Tobago during the dry season.

He was pleased to say there had been rainfall above the prediction, of 1,313.2mm recorded in Trinidad and 833.5mm in Tobago.

For the 2020 hurricane season, the Met Office predicted six storms. Three formed and one became a tropical storm, Gonzalo. It strengthened as it approached Trinidad and Tobago, but had weakened to a tropical depression by the time it passed across the islands.

The Met Office is predicting between 435mm and 920mm of rainfall for January to May.

In the dry season, the usual bush fires, reduced air quality and high temperatures are expected.

Kerr said while an increase in rainfall would be welcomed by farmers, it can also elevate the risk of flooding in flood-prone areas.

The public is advised to continue to clear water channels, conserve water, and develop contingency plans to deal with bush or landfill fires and to deal with heat waves when they occur.

Farmers are also asked to use water-smart farming techniques in the first two months of the dry season.

When Newsday contacted WASA’s communications officer Daniel Plenty on what the prediction means for water supply in 2021, he said WASA will soon release its own prediction for the dry season.

Water levels at reservoirs

The level of the Caroni/Arena reservoir is currently at 79.16 per cent (long-term average 86.67 per cent).

Navet is 100 per cent full (LTA 88.56 per cent).

Hollis is at 97.77 per cent (LTA 85.32 per cent).

Hillsborough Reservoir, Tobago is at 100 per cent (LTA 97.87 per cent).


"Met Office predicts wetter than average dry season"

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